| The Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games:|
How Bad Can It Get?
I chronicled all of the match fixing, doping, and general shenanigans that took place during the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Apparently most of the media has forgotten about those events because they all seemed shocked and surprised at what's already transpired at this year's games.
For starters, you have a significant chunk of the Russian team already banned from the games because of the endemic PED usage within the country's athletic programs. A day before the Olympics officially opened, 118 Russian athletes were banned (that's nearly a third of the 389 who were supposed to compete). Of course, the home country's--that is, Brazil's--athletes were given a free pass on drug testing, because, you know, home field advantage.
I know what you might be thinking: serves those Commies right. If so, then you might want to question the US Olympic program as the Indianapolis Star actually did some investigative reporting and revealed the underage sexual abuse occurring within the American gymnastics program.
And prior to the torch even being lit, a Moroccan boxer was arrested on allegations he sexually assaulted two Brazilian women.
So let's see what happens in the next two weeks...if you see/hear something regarding these Olympics that I've missed, let me know at: firstname.lastname@example.org
So NBC didn't carry the Opening Ceremonies live because, you know, ratings and "controlling the message"--both of which I think are givens--but what's really interesting to hear is how NBC's chief marketing officer put the blame on women by saying, "The people who watch the Olympics are not particularly sports fans. More women watch the games than men, and for the women, they're less interested in the result and more interested in the journey. It's sort of like the ultimate reality show and miniseries wrapped into one. And to tell the truth, it has been the complaint of a few sportswriters. It has not been the complaint of the vast viewing public." (thanks to Rodney for the tip)
And so some members of the 2016 USA Basketball "Dream Team" "accidentally" found themselves in a brothel because they thought it was a "male spa" (which really should create more questions, not answer the whorehouse one). But boys will be boys which is why...
A second Olympic boxer, this one from Namibia, has now been arrested for alleged sexual assault. Now you understand why each member of the US Olympic team is issued a six month supply of condoms for a two week athletic event.
So the dive pool turned green, supposedly from algae. The water polo pool has a similar problem. But not the swimming pool. It's not contaminated with algae, but I wouldn't be surprised if there's more than a few swimmers contaminated with PEDs.
Lilly King, a newly anoited 19-year old US swimming star, came out and said what a lot of sports fans likely think: if you've "cheated" by using PEDs, you shouldn't be allowed to compete. Her initial salvo at her fellow athletes was aimed at Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova who was suspended for a positive test, yet reinstated just days before the Rio games opened. (King beat Efimova which might make you wonder how the "clean" swimmer beat the cheat. And Efimova later countered King's statements by asking why King had no issues with Phelps competing despite his DUI arrest in 2014 and his marijuana use. No response from King was noted).
But King did also state that American athletes like the formerly suspended track and field stars Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay shouldn't be allowed to compete by saying, "I have to respect (the track authorities') decision even if it is something I don't necessarily agree with. No, do I think people who have been caught doping should be on the team? They shouldn't. It is unfortunate we have to see that."
I agree with King. But it makes me wonder how closely tested and monitored US swimmers are? Apparently, 23 American swimmers signed a letter to swimming's governing body FINA asking for more testing to be done. It's a great gesture, but just that--a gesture. It doesn't mean they themselves are clean.
Let's face it, corporations like ESPN and the US Postal Service backed Lance Armstrong and Co. for a decade-plus, all the while claiming he and he cohorts were "clean." And then they weren't.
So where does that leave someone like Michael Phelps who signed that letter to FINA? Twenty two gold medals (and counting), no one's suspicion is raised when a 31-year old is out performing 19- and 20-year olds in feats of speed, endurance and conditioning? (Especially when after the 4 x 200 freestyle relay which Team USA won Phelps had to be helped out of the pool. I'd post a gif of the incident, but the media has been barred from doing so believe it or not).
Look, you can believe Phelps success over the past 20 years is because of The Method, or maybe cupping, or you can be "cynical" and think bad thoughts. But if some track and field sprinter, hurdler, or long distance runner remained a top competitor for two decades, everyone within the sport would be raising eyebrows and wondering how that's possible. But in swimming--in US swmming that is--no one bats an eye at such remarkable results. Even when a youngster like Katie Ledecky repeatedly wipes out her competition by unthinkable margins:
No way a kid like that would dope, right? She's 19 (doesn't look it if you ask me), same age as King, and apparently just that much better than every other woman in the world at freestyle swimming....even all the PED-using Russians.
Of course, the entire swimming field is under suspicion as the entry times of numerous swimmers were either inaccurate and/or outright faked. FINA--the outfit US swimmers encouraged to conduct stricter testing--didn't comment on this minor scandal. They appear as legit as FIFA.
As the track and field events gear up, it's of little surprise to learn that a Kenyan coach was expelled from the games for posing as his athlete and taking the athlete's urine test for him, also a Chinese swimmer, Polish weightlifter and Bulgarian steeplechaser were all sanctioned for positive PED tests (I believe here, on Day 7, are the first official bans for positive tests at the games).
If you've ever wondered why the rest of the world seems to have an issue with Americans, look no further than US Women's Soccer goalie Hope Solo who called the Swedish team a "bunch of cowards" after they beat Team USA in a shoot out after a 1-1 result which elimiated the Americans. Apparently Ms. Solo didn't like the style of soccer the Swedes employed during their match.
Sorry this ends a bit abruptly about halfway through the Games, but had some family issues to deal with during this time. Hopefully, I'll get back to finishing this piece because there was more to discuss. Until then, keep digging around the site and enjoy!